Thursday, December 16, 2010

Surreal war to go on, and on, and on

HYDE
Soldiers demonstrate how they are using the Handheld Interagency Identity Detection Equipment (HIIDE) to gather biometric information on Afghans who cross through their checkpoint in the Arghandab Valley. ISAFmedia.

Today the Obama administration is apparently going to share its rationale for staying the course in its lost, useless war in Afghanistan. Not that anything good is happening there:
  • New National Intelligence Estimates say Pakistan is still supporting Taliban and other fighters that attack ISAF (our side's) troops. Money quote re the estimates:

    "... We can’t make Pakistan stop being naughty.”

  • Meanwhile. Red Cross says Afghan conditions worst in 30 years

    Spreading violence in Afghanistan is preventing aid organizations from providing help, with access to those in need at its worst level in three decades, the Red Cross said on Wednesday.

    "The proliferation of armed groups threatens the ability of humanitarian organizations to access those in need. Access for the ICRC has over the last 30 years never been as poor," said Reto Stocker, Afghanistan head of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), which rarely makes public comments.

  • Last week Afghan President Hamid Karzai had a disagreement with General Petraeus. According to the Washington Post,

    As he spoke, he grew agitated, then enraged. He told them that he now has three "main enemies" - the Taliban, the United States and the international community.

    "If I had to choose sides today, I'd choose the Taliban," he fumed.

    That's the guy whose government we hope to turn security over to, some day that keeps receding into the future.
  • Dozens of academics, experts and members of non-governmental organizations who actually know something about Afghanistan (we haven't got a lot of such people) are beseeching the President to "implement an alternative strategy that would allow the United States to exit Afghanistan while safeguarding its legitimate security interests." Notably, Pakistani author and long time explainer of Central Asia to the West, Ahmed Rashid, is among the signers.
But no -- under Obama any plan for an end date keeps receding. The Prez may promise some withdrawals by June 2011, but the military says the Afghan Army will need us through 2014 and maybe beyond.

Who's in charge here?

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